Parking charge plans get mixed response

Planned parking charge changes have drawn a mixed response.
Planned parking charge changes have drawn a mixed response.

Proposed changes to car-parking charges in East Lindsey have been welcomed by coastal councillors but opposed by those in market towns, who fear it will hinder small businesses.

East Lindsey District Council’s car-parking review, which is hoped to generate half a million in additional revenue, met a mixed response during discussions at Tedder Hall, Manby, last week.

Car-parking scrutiny panel chairman Coun Terry Knowles said the proposals, which will see charges introduced at some free car parks and increased at many others, were ‘balanced and fair’.

Skegness Councillors Mark Anderson and Steve O’Dare both welcomed the more balanced approach to charging, following years when coastal car-parks charged more than those inland.

Coun Dick Edgington also welcomed the introduction of free parking at foreshore car-parks after 6pm, which previously charged until 10pm, as he hopes it will ‘stimulate the night-time economy.’

Councillors representing market towns, however, thought accepting of the need to introduce some form of charging, have pressed strongly for an hour’s free parking to help small businesses. Coun Neil Cooper said the omission of an hour’s free parking would ‘strangle the local economy of many of the villages.’

Although there was no immediate provision for allowing an hour’s free parking in the district, Coun Knowles said it could be revisited later.

Spilsby area councillors Jim Swanson and Roderick Williams made an impassioned appeal to retain an hour’s free parking at the Post Office car-park to ensure those visiting their doctor could do so at no additional expense. Coun Swanson said: “There are 8,000 residents using the surgery in Spilsby and to charge them a pound to do so is outrageous.”

Portfolio holder for the environment Coun Tony Bridges said he was ‘listening’ and wanted to be ‘fair to the public’ when he came to make the final decision.